BAPA Calls for Sustainable Development: Preserve Trees and Greenery

In a strong appeal to the authorities, the Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) has urged for a balanced approach to development projects that preserves existing trees and greenery. At a discussion held at the Sagar-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, BAPA emphasized the critical need to protect and recover waterbodies, proposing the creation of a “blue network” to connect waterbodies with rivers, enhancing the livability of urban areas.

Sustainable Urbanisation and Environmental Protection
BAPA Vice President and Architect Iqbal Habib presented the keynote address, highlighting the importance of integrating environmental considerations into urban development. Scholars and activists at the event discussed various aspects of sustainable urbanisation, including the preservation of waterbodies, greenery, open spaces, playing fields, and tackling air and sound pollution.

Key Proposals and Discussions
Tree Census and Database: A comprehensive tree census and a database of roadside trees were proposed to monitor and control tree felling during development projects. The need for a policy to ensure tree plantation, maintenance, and urban forestry was also stressed.

Environmental Assessments: Iqbal Habib emphasized the necessity of conducting proper Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Environmental Mitigation Plans (EMP) before initiating any development project. He called for transparency and stakeholder involvement in these processes.

Protection of Waterbodies: Highlighting the alarming decline of Dhaka’s waterbodies and greenery due to encroachment and pollution, Habib urged city authorities to take effective actions to restore and safeguard these critical resources.

Expert Insights
Prof Ishrat Islam, from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at BUET, underscored the responsibility of city corporations in protecting canals and waterbodies. She noted that while there is still time to save the existing waterbodies in Dhaka, similar attention is needed for areas outside the capital.

“Assessment and accountability are crucial for those tasked with environmental protection. Evaluating their performance can drive better outcomes,” Prof Islam added.

Prof Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder, Joint Secretary of BAPA, pointed to uncontrolled construction and unfit vehicles as major contributors to air and sound pollution in Dhaka. He advocated for short, mid, and long-term plans to address these issues.

Call to Action
Speakers at the discussion also highlighted the need to protect agricultural lands and maximize the use of non-agricultural lands for development. The overall message was clear: sustainable urbanisation requires a harmonious balance between development and environmental preservation.

BAPA’s call for action is a reminder of the vital role that environmental stewardship plays in creating livable, sustainable cities. As development continues, the integration of green spaces and the protection of natural resources must remain a top priority.

Stay updated with BAPA’s initiatives and join the conversation on sustainable urbanisation and environmental protection.

Green Time Editorial Body